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Rauner’s Road to Perdition

by Bob Roman
The 2016 Debs – Thomas – Harrington Dinner was held Friday evening, May 20, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro on Chicago’s near west side. And what an evening it was! The room was packed with maybe no more than 3 empty seats.

The speakers, Alderwoman Susan Sadlowski Garza, Jorge Mújica and Michael Lighty, were all sharp and inspiring. They left no doubt that democratic socialism has become a visible part of U.S. mainstream political discourse where once it was ignored. The brief space available to this account really cannot do justice to their work at this event. We hope to have audio recordings of the event up on the chicagodsa.org web site soon, but courtesy of Alec Hudson, a video of most of the keynote is posted at both the Chicago DSA Local and City of Chicago Branch Facebook pages. Photos of the event are at the Chicago DSA Facebook page. Comedian and DSA member Walker Smith did well as our Master of Ceremonies, and we were privileged to have Michael Miles provide music during the “cocktail hour”. Bill Barclay and Tom Broderick made excellent presentations to the honorees.

The people we had as honorees and as speaker are individuals I respect, like, and admire. This made this particular dinner a pleasure for me to do. Many thanks to Tom Broderick who, besides setting up the literature table and collecting post cards that lobby against the TPP, also kept tabs on seating at the dinner. Thanks to Alec Hudson who helped at the ticket table. Thanks to Alex McLeese who helped set up. Thanks to Ron Baiman for transportation and fiddle accompaniment. Thank you to John Scott and Rita Maniotis for recording the event. And thanks to all those heroes of envelope stuffing and brainstorming.

The activists who began this annual event back in 1958 are mostly gone, but they had to have started it in a spirit of hope, even optimism, that was not always repaid by events. Let’s hope that we can continue this tradition in that same spirit.

(from New Ground 166)
Program Book Cover

Walker Smith opens the 2016 Debs -- Thomas -- Harrington Dinner.
Download to listen later, right click HERE.
(2.7 Mbytes, 2:51)

All audio recording by Rita Maniotis
Post production by Bob Roman
All photos by John Scott

Walker Smith
Mujica award
Tom Broderick and Jorge Mujica

Tom Broderick presents the Dinner Award to Jorge Mújica.
Download to listen later, right click HERE.
(3.7 Mbytes, 3:50)

Jorge Mujica

Jorge Mújica makes his acceptance presentation.
Download to listen later, right click HERE.
(4.7 Mbytes, 4:55)

Michael Lighty and Bill Barclay
Michael Lighty Award

Bill Barclay presents the Dinner Award to Michael Lighty.
Download to listen later, right click HERE.
(2.9 Mbytes, 2:58)

Michael Lighty makes his acceptance presentation.
Download to listen later, right click HERE.
(8.7 Mbytes, 9:04)

Michael Lighty
Sue Sadlowski Garza

Susan Sadlowski Garza gives the 2016 Dinner Address. Download to listen later, right click HERE.
(10.6 Mbytes, 11:03)

At the end of every Dinner, we sing "Solidarity Forever".
Download to listen later, right click HERE.
(3.3 Mbytes, 3:24)

Solidarity Forever
Lighty, Garza, Mujica
Michael Lighty, Susan Sadlowski Garza, and Jorge Mújica

58th Annual Debs - Thomas - Harrington Dinner

you are invited to

Rauner's Road to Perdition

Our Keynote Speaker

Susan Sadlowski Garza

Alderwoman, 10th Ward
Susan Sadlowski Garza

Please Join Us in Honoring

Jorge Mujica

Jorge Mújica

Strategic Campaigns Organizer, Arise Chicago
2015 candidate for Alderman, 25th Ward
Journalist, Activist, Labor Organizer
Michael Lighty

Michael Lighty

Director of Public Policy, National Nurses United
Board Secretary, Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center
National Director, DSA (1990 -- 1993)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro, Madison & Halsted, Chicago

Cocktails at 6 PM · Dinner at 7 PM

Be sure you are represented in the Dinner Program book with an ad or a greeting. For more information about the program book or to order tickets by mail, CLICK HERE for a printable PDF (6 Mbytes).

Tickets must be reserved by Tuesday, May 17.

Order Individual Tickets
(general admission)
(if you can't attend)
Order Reserved Tables
(tables seat 8)

The buttons above use PayPal's secure payment interface. We do not see your credit card information.

Auspices: Chicago Democratic Socialists of America, an Illinois not-for-profit corporation with 501c4 IRS status. Contributions are not tax deductible.

Build Chicago's Political Revolution!

The 2016 Eugene V. Debs – Norman Thomas – Michael Harrington Dinner will be Friday evening, May 20, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago Metro, Madison and Halsted on Chicago’s near west side. It is, as always, a union hotel. You are invited, requested, beseeched to participate. We have a great program lined up; you won’t regret it.

The theme for this year’s event is Rauner’s Road to Perdition. If Governor Rauner prevails, our state is on its way to utter ruin. The alternative is the utter ruin of Rauner’s reactionary “Turn Around Agenda.” All roads lead to perdition for someone. It’s either them or it’s us.

Our keynote speaker will do justice to this topic: Alderwoman of the 10th Ward, Susan Sadlowski Garza. The first Chicago Teachers Union member elected to the City Council, she is also the first woman to represent Chicago’s 10th Ward. Described by the Chicago Sun-Times as “tough-as-nails,” she is Bernie Sander’s political revolution come to Chicago’s “gritty” southeast side.

Our honorees fit this mold too.

Many of you will know Jorge Mújica as the 2015 socialist candidate for Alderman of the 25th Ward who Chicago DSA endorsed and supported. He was then and is now the Strategic Campaigns Organizer for the Chicago Arise worker center. But Mújica has done so much more. In addition to being an organizer for worker centers, he has been an organizer for traditional labor unions. He has been a journalist for both print and broadcast media. Mújica was one of the three conveners of the historic 2006 immigrant rights march in Chicago that brought a million people out on the streets of Chicago. One is tempted to call him a renaissance activist.

Michael Lighty is the Public Policy Director for California Nurses Association / National Nurses United. In that position, he has been an effective advocate for a national “single-payer” health plan, for a “Robin Hood Tax” on financial transactions, for limiting the role of money in politics, and for lesbian and gay equality. Did we mention the Bernie Sanders campaign? It shouldn’t be a surprise that Lighty also served as DSA’s National Director, 1990 to 1993. Michael Lighty is the Board Secretary of the Martin Luther King Jr Freedom Center and, somewhat more prosaically, Lighty has served on the Port of Oakland Commission and on the Oakland Planning Commission.

The favor of your reply is requested. This will be a great evening and you would regret missing it. Individual tickets are $80 each. Reserved tables of eight are $900. Your tickets must be reserved by Tuesday, May 17. We will have vegetarian plates available. We will send the tickets to you, send them to a third party, or hold them at the door, but tickets ordered after May 13 will be held at the door. You can order tickets by mail or by using PayPal’s secure transaction interface (the buttons above). Note that we do not receive any credit or debit card information from these transactions, so your information is safe.

If you cannot attend or if money for politics is scarce, please consider getting a greeting or an ad in the Dinner Program Book.

If you have any questions, please do contact us by phone at 773.384.0327 or by email at chiildsa@chicagodsa.org.

Money as speech is libertarian nonsense. But in a market economy, effective organizing requires cash. Chicago DSA does its best to extend each dollar with all volunteer labor, but potluck politics has a very limited reach. Your participation is crucial to building Chicago’s next left.